Soccer survives rain, Huskies

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

The U women’s soccer team battled an unrelenting downpour and the Washington Huskies on Saturday night, overcoming both obstacles in a come-from-behind 3-2 win.

The Utes (5-2-1) gave up an early goal in the 11th minute when Washington defender Nikki Murray buried a shot into the upper left corner after the ball skipped through traffic on a corner kick.

Trailing 2-0 in the second half, the Utes finally came alive at the one-hour mark.

Katy Reineke, Utah’s free kick specialist, did what she does best in the 62nd minute when she blasted a free kick into the upper right corner from 25 yards out.

It was a rare chance for the Utes to attack the goal, and Reineke took advantage.

“At this level, she’s our David Beckham,” coach Rich Manning said of the junior.

The goal sparked a momentum shift. Three minutes later, Reineke scored the equalizer for the Utes after Lauren Hair crossed the ball into Adele Letro, who found Reineke in front of the goal.

It was the first time in Reineke’s three-year college career that she scored more than one goal in a match.

“There have been teams I’ve been on in the past that would’ve given up after being down 2-0, but we didn’t give up,” Reineke said.

The Utes seized the advantage in the 82nd minute when Letro booted the ball past Washington’s keeper.

The assist, of course, came from Reineke.

“In a way, it was her night,” Manning said.

While it’s impressive that the Utes were able to surge back when faced with a multiple-goal deficit, Manning would rather his team didn’t put itself in that situation in the first place.

“(Washington) came out with much better effort and intensity,” Manning said. “Tonight, our energy and commitment to the game was not at the level we need.”

Weather conditions were miserable throughout the night. The rain probably caused more problems for the Utes than for the Seattle-based Huskies, although it’s doubtful that either side enjoyed being soaked to the bone before five minutes had ticked off the clock.

At one point, Washington keeper Taylor Carr tried bouncing the ball before punting. It landed with a heavy plop on the soaked grass and Carr had to bend over to pick it up.

“The ball was so slick in the first half, every time I touched the ball, it slipped off my feet,” Reineke said.

If there was an upside to the weather woes, it’s that the Utes now know who their true fans are. Huddled under umbrellas and shivering beneath blankets, die-hard fans rooted the Utes on to a fourth straight win.

The Utes head back onto the road next weekend when they face Pepperdine on Fri., Sept. 28.

[email protected]

Liz Rohde

Katy Reineke scored two late goals to help lead the Utes to a 3-2 comeback victory over Washington on Saturday.